Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure performed to reshape folds surrounding the exterior of the vagina, particularly the labia minora (inner labia) and the labia majora (outer labia). Labiaplasty changes the size or shape of the labia, typically making them smaller or correcting an asymmetry between them.
A labiaplasty is not to be confused with vaginal rejuvenation surgery. A vaginal rejuvenation procedure, medically known as a vaginoplasty, addresses the vagina itself and is performed for the purpose of tightening the vaginal muscles to improve the appearance and size of the vaginal opening.
Labiaplasty is one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures in the United States with demand for this surgery increasing by large amounts each year (16% rise in 2015). The desire to have a perfect-looking vaginal area has sometimes been attributed to fashion, pornography, and celebrity. However, women of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and ethnicities seek labiaplasties.
Some women are born with asymmetric or excess labial tissue. For some women, the desire to alter this area can happen after childbearing, when the tissue has become stretched out or otherwise enlarged. In other cases, menopause may have created an unwanted change in appearance when the vulvar “lips” begin to droop due to loss of collagen and elastin.
Each of the thousands of women who decide to undergo a labiaplasty procedure each year has their own personal reason for desiring this surgery.
Here are five of those reasons we hear most frequently:
Physical Discomfort During Sports, Exercise, or Everyday Activities
Exercise programs and sports can help your body feel great and improve your overall health. However, for some women, the discomfort these activities can create in the vaginal area can be a huge deterrent to continuing such a healthy program.
The sweating, rubbing, and chafing caused by many exercise routines can be just too much to deal with. Bicycling, running, and yoga can cause considerable discomfort, and in some cases, can even wind up a source of pain. The uncomfortable sensations may occur during exercise or immediately after. This can be so bad that the patient avoids exercise altogether.
For some women, even sitting for extended periods of time can cause discomfort when their labia are too large or are distended. Extended car rides and long walks, which may at one time have been a source of pleasure, might now be too uncomfortable to even consider.
Appearance and the Fit of Clothing
The current trend in exercise clothing is a tighter fit with lighter material. Women with large labias often tell us their genitals protrude out of their workout clothes or can be easily seen through the thin material of their exercise outfits or regular pants or tights.
Having a labiaplasty can mean a great deal to a woman with overly large labia that are preventing her from wearing a swimsuit or any other tight clothing she would like.
Concerns and Problems Relating to Sexual Intercourse
Increased labia size can cause pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse. Also, for some women, the concern over what their partners think about the appearance of their labia can cause self-consciousness and decrease their sexual satisfaction.
Often, post-cosmetic surgery is linked to improved self-image and sexual satisfaction.
Self-Conscious about Vagina
Although no woman should ever be made to feel self-conscious about their vagina (or any other part of their body), some women find themselves becoming concerned over the look and feel of this area. When that happens, it’s good to know that the labiaplasty procedure is available.
Urination with an Enlarged Labia
Enlarged labia minora can hinder urination, often getting in the way and causing the stream of urine not to flow straight.
Any plastic surgeon, in fact, any surgeon is legally allowed to perform vaginal lip surgery without any special certification. This is why it’s so important to ensure the cosmetic surgeon you choose has the proper education and experience. You certainly don’t want just any surgeon performing this procedure on you. Like all surgeries, the expertise of the surgeon plays a huge roll in the results for the patient. So, do your research and consult the expertise of a trusted plastic surgeon with a great reputation before going forward with your labiaplasty.
At Ganchi Plastic Surgery, we understand what an important, personal decision it is to get any plastic surgery procedure. Please give us a call and Dr. Ganchi will be happy to discuss if a labiaplasty is right for you.